Simulator illustrates safety of new texting ban to students - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Simulator illustrates safety of new texting ban to students

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Students got to watch each other take a virtual test to see how well -or poorly - they text and drive. Students got to watch each other take a virtual test to see how well -or poorly - they text and drive.

OREGON, OH (Toledo News Now) - A new texting while driving ban will become Ohio law Friday. On Thursday, Clay High School students learned how dangerous texting while driving can be.

AT&T will brought its texting-while-driving simulator, which is a full-sized car with attached computer equipment, to the high school to show how dangerous texting while driving is, along with the importance of the new law.

AT&T representatives, along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and AAA, were on hand to answer questions and teach students more about the ban.

Gov. John Kasich signed the bill into a law June 1, which takes effect Aug. 31. It makes texting while driving a secondary offense and a misdemeanor for drivers 18 and older and a primary offense for drivers under 18, which means law enforcement can pull over drivers if they are seen texting. This includes while sitting at a traffic light or in a traffic jam.

The law also makes it illegal for drivers under 18 to talk on cell phones while driving.

There is a six-month warning period, but on March 1, 2013 tickets will be issued.

A first violation for minors is a $150 fine with a driver license suspension of 60 days. A second, or multiple, violations for minors is a $300 fine and with a possible license suspension for a year. Exceptions include preprogrammed GPS or emergency calls.

For adults, the misdemeanor results in a fine up to $150. 

The law was created to make Ohio's roads safer and demonstrations, like those at Clay High School, help illustrate that point.

Holly Hollingsworth with AT&T said it often takes a virtual test for teens to realize they may not be as good at texting while driving as they originally thought.

Learn more about the ban.

Tune in for more on what the high school students learned by taking the test tonight on Fox Toledo News at 6:30.

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